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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Mobile Shopping of Electronically Referenced Products

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How e-shopping buys time

When time is money, finding a day to go to the supermarket may not always be an easy thing to do. Household chores, family obligations or long office hours may put the shopping on hold or reduce it to a stressful corridor race few minutes before closing hours. A new software application mix of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and wireless network communication techniques enables customers to instantly choose, buy and pay for their goods whether at home, in the shop or on the move.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy

This novel e-shopping technology serves to provide customers and retailers with 'on the spot' information about each and every product in their shopping trolley. In addition it collects data about consumer behavior and interests. Identification of the product takes place via the use of RF-tags. Instead of physically scanning the goods, RF-tags pass the information onto a RF-Receiver found on the shopping trolley. When in the shop, customers log on to the system via the trolley's terminal. The trolley's system identifies them by their password and displays the shopping list. It also identifies where the selected product can be found within the store, reveals its price or any interesting promotional offers and informs the customer about any further in-shop applications. Once the chosen item is identified, and placed in the trolley, the system automatically bills the purchaser and sends the item list to the cashier with a receipt of the amount to be paid. The shopping list is finally stored in the local system's memory to be used for future purchasing. As a result, the collection of marketing data gives retailers an idea of the consumers' preferences, hints for future promotions and notification about products that are no longer on the shelves. For consumers, the main advantages of this novel e-shopping system are that they can self-checkout, and dispose themselves of long shopping lists and waiting lines. They can also shop from home and access their shopping list via the internet or via their mobile phone. The system also supports an anti-theft mechanism similar to that for CDs or clothes thus reducing any chances for potential losses. With less time to lose and better e-services to choose from, shopping in the future will no longer be the same.

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